Facebook — Good or Bad for ASR?

Is Facebook good or bad for our Azusa StreetRiders ministry?

Azusa StreetRiders never intended for members to post any and everything on Facebook as now seems to be the case. In our earlier years, we had a proprietary website where posts were confined to members-only and it had a—for lack of a better term—Facebook-like utility for all members to use. We could post and it wouldn’t get beyond our members. Unfortunately, we had to abandon its use because of spam-bot fake registrations which began to post all kinds of things; advertisements and even links to sketchy sites. As a result, we decided to go to Facebook itself and try to “monitor” all posts. Despite the tremendous efforts of moderators, it’s proven to be a difficult and tedious job that often finds posts lingering on our ASR pages for too long before being noticed and removed. Since there is not another viable alternative, we will continue to use Facebook and will continue to monitor as best as we can.

This being said, we as professing Oneness Apostolic believers who want to present ourselves acceptable to God (Rom 12:1) need to use both wisdom and constraint in what we post. Today, I believe the tongue has serious competition as thumbs and fingers are vying to be the most unruly members of the body. Many of us are too quick to post in response to someone else. Or negative, divisive posts are made that divide the body. Hate speech is not free speech.

For these reasons, I’m asking that all of us look at the intent of the two Facebook groups that Azusa StreetRiders have, “Friends” and “Members Only.”

On the “Members Only” group, just posts pertaining directly to ASR should be made. This is where our “family” should be corresponding with things that affect all members or would be of interest to all members. Questions and answers as to how to have outreach, thoughts about dates for Biker Sundays, and uplifting comments about events attended are but a few of the things that are appropriate. This page is no place to chastise individuals, make threats, or even criticize people. If you feel the necessity of posting these type things, I suggest you first read James 3:1-18, and then go directly to the individual and don’t spread dirty laundry and division.

In the “Friends” group, more general information pertaining to the ministry is acceptable. Here, we should post of upcoming events, tell of the results of past events, and encourage others to use their God-given talents to benefit all. This is not a place to post political thoughts, promotions from other businesses or organizations, controversial topics within ASR or even talk about other ministries negatively. This page was initially set up to create excitement so that other bikers would desire to join ASR and spread the gospel.

By being on Facebook, we all have a “personal” page for anything we wish to discuss, promote, or present. Please, let’s use our personal pages for things that don’t belong on ASR’s two pages. By doing so, we’ll make life much easier on the moderators and promote unity among the members instead of strife and division. Any post found to be questionable or divisive will be immediately taken down from both friends page and members only page and the one posting will be notified. But even on our personal pages, any ASR member found causing strife or division concerning ASR as a ministry or concerning negative comments about our members will be subject to reprimand or possibly expulsion from the ministry. Remember Jesus’ instruction about someone you have a problem with? It’s covered in Matthew 18:15-17.

So, is Facebook good or bad for ASR? The answer is, “It depends.” It depends on how it’s used. If you’re an Azusa StreetRider, you ARE a minister! “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14) I believe this passage completely answers the question!

Thank you and God bless…

Fred Beall

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Fred Beall and his wife Diane Beall are the co-founders of Azusa StreetRiders, "The Apostolic Motorcycle Ministry of Jesus Christ." He served for 16 years as the first President of ASR and stepped down in 2015. He and Sister Beall reside in Myrtle Beach, SC, are members of the Myrtle Beach Chapter, and are active members today attending as many ASR events as possible.

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